Craig Giles is one of Australia’s most popular entertainers. His rich singing voice, dynamic stage presence, and friendly personality have earned him a place as one of the top artists in Australian country music, rock ‘n’ roll, and rockabilly. He is well known for his outstanding Elvis Presley and Johnny Cash tribute shows. Craig has toured extensively, performing in thousands of places in Australia & NZ, plus performances in Memphis, Tupelo and Savannah (in the U.S.) and Ireland & Scotland. www.craigiles.com
John was a secondary school music teacher for 23 years (taught Kylie Minogue). He and his twin brother, Graeme, perform as The Howie Brothers. John has been leading successful music tours and cruises for 28 years. John is passionate about his music tours and a huge amount of attention to details goes into each tour.VIEW ITINERARY
DAY 1 Monday July 15, 2024 Depart
Depart Australia on Emirates flight, via Dubai, to Dublin.
DAY 2 Tuesday July 16, 2024 Belfast
Early afternoon: Arrive in Dublin. Travel by coach to Belfast, Northern Ireland. On arrival, check into our hotel, then free time. Overnight: Leonardo Hotel Belfast.
DAY 3 Wednesday July 17, 2024 Belfast
Morning: Sightseeing coach tour of Belfast, with local guide. See the political murals on buildings in the Catholic and Protestant areas of West Belfast. See the Stormont parliament building and the impressive new Titanic Belfast building. Visit Belfast’s iconic Crown Liquor Saloon (ornate 1880s pub). Afternoon: Free time. You may like to visit the excellent Ulster Museum, the Botanic Gardens (both free admission), or the Titanic Belfast museum/ exhibition (optional). Evening: Enjoy Welcome Dinner, with a few songs from Craig Giles. After dinner, attend a music ‘session’ at one of Belfast’s excellent music pubs; e.g., Madden’s Bar. (B,D)
DAY 4 Thursday July 18, 2024 Londonderry or Letterkenny
Travel along Northern Ireland’s spectacular Antrim Coast, to Derry. See Carrickfergus Castle, the Glens of Antrim, and the ruins of Dunluce Castle. Visit the Giant’s Causeway (famous natural rock formations). Afternoon: A coach tour of Derry with local guide, including a short walk on Derry’s famous 17th-century walls. We will then visit one of Derry’s famous music pubs, for afternoon drinks & live traditional music (if available). Evening: Enjoy an informal performance, by Craig Giles, at our hotel. Overnight: Accommodation to be confirmed. (B,MorningTea)
DAY 5 Friday July 19, 2024 Donegal
Tour County Donegal, in the far north-west of Ireland. Lunch at Leo’s Tavern. Leo Brennan (Enya’s father) established this 'Singing’ pub many years ago. We will be entertained by a local ballad singer and one or two of the pub’s staff, including Leo’s son Bartley (if available). Pass through Kincasslagh, internationally renowned singer Daniel O’Donnell’s hometown. Visit the excellent Triona Donegal Tweed Centre (in town of Ardara). Continue south to the fishing port of Killybegs, before proceeding to Donegal Town. Evening: Prior to dinner visit a pub near our hotel, where you will enjoy a typical Irish music ‘session’. Overnight: Abbey Hotel, Donegal Town. (B,Morning Tea,L,D)
DAY 6 Saturday July 20, 2024 Westport
Today we travel south, to the charming coastal town of Westport, Co. Mayo. Soon after leaving Donegal Town, enjoy a guided tour of the Belleek Pottery factory. Then travel through Co. Sligo. See Ben Bulben (a distinctive mountain). On arrival in Westport free time to explore the town & go shopping. Evening: Attend an Irish music session in one of Westport’s excellent music pubs. Overnight: Accommodation to be confirmed. (B)
DAY 7 Sunday July 21, 2024 Galway
Travel south to Galway. On the outskirts of Westport see Croagh Patrick (a mountain, famous for an annual religious pilgrimage). Then travel through an unforgettable valley we have discovered, as we make our way to the Connemara region – famous for its unique, rocky landscapes. Visit much-photographed Kylemore Abbey. Tour Kylemore’s main castle-like building & outstanding Victorian Walled Garden. Take a 'back roads’ coastal route to Galway, through some of the most beautiful parts of the Connemara. On arrival in Galway, see the Claddah region and sing Galway Bay. Evening: Explore Galway’s renowned session pubs with John Howie and Craig Giles. Overnight: Accommodation to be confirmed. (B,MorningTea)
DAY 8 Monday July 22, 2024 Galway
Optional day trip by ferry to the fascinating Aran Islands (cost approx. $50). Tour the island of Inishmore by minibus, including the amazing stone Dun Aengus Fort (a cliff-top fortress dating back to the 5th century). Those not going on the Aran Islands excursion are free to spend the day exploring Galway city. Evening: Attend Trad on the Prom, fabulous Irish music and dance theatre show. (B)
DAY 9 Tuesday July 23, 2024 Dublin
Depart Galway and head east to Dublin. On the way, visit Athenry Castle (13th century), where we sing The Fields of Athenry. Afternoon: Sightseeing coach tour of Dublin. Then afternoon drinks (own expense) at O’Donoghue’s (famous Dublin music pub), where Craig Giles will perform for us. Evening: Join John Howie on a walk through Dublin’s famous Temple Bar precinct, including a visit to one or two of his favourite music pubs. Overnight: Hilton Garden Inn Dublin City Centre. (B)
DAY 10 Wednesday July 24, 2024 Dublin
Morning: Visit Trinity College. See the Book of Kells (richly decorated Irish medieval manuscript) and the Old Library (1732). Also visit St Stephens Green, Grafton Street, & the statue of Molly Malone. Lunch at a well-known Dublin music pub, including performance by one of John Howie’s favourite Irish ballad groups. Afternoon: Free time. You may like to visit the National Museum, St Patrick’s Cathedral, Kilmainham Gaol or the Guinness Storehouse (all optional). Evening: Attend fabulous Irish Cabaret show, featuring traditional Irish music & dancing. (B,L,D)
DAY 11 Thursday July 25, 2024 Liverpool
Morning: Fly to Liverpool, UK. Afternoon: Visit The Beatles Story exhibition. Evening: Free time. You may like to visit Mathew Street (location of the Cavern Club, where The Beatles performed, early days). Or, you may like to visit The Caledonia (a popular live music venue in Liverpool). Overnight: Radisson Blu Hotel, Liverpool. (B)
DAY 12 Friday July 26, 2024 Liverpool
Morning: Sightseeing coach tour of Liverpool, with local guide. Visit Penny Lane, Strawberry Fields, & Mathew Street. Visit the excellent bronze statues of John, Paul, George & Ringo, on the banks of the Mersey River (we will sing the Gerry & The Pacemakers song, Ferry Cross the Mersey). Afternoon: Free time. Evening: Enjoy an informal performance by Craig Giles. (B)
DAY 13 Saturday July 27, 2024 Glasgow
Morning: Travel north, to Glasgow, Scotland. On the way visit the beautiful Lakes District, in north-west England. Afternoon: Sightseeing coach tour of Glasgow. Evening: Enjoy an informal evening of music at The Scotia Bar, a famous Glaswegian music pub (Est. 1792). Overnight: Ibis Styles Glasgow George Square. (B)
DAY 14 Sunday July 28, 2024 Oban
Travel north, to Oban, a lovely port town in Scotland’s Argyll region. On the way see Loch Lomond and sing The Bonnie Banks of Loch Lomond. Also, see spectacular Inveraray Castle & shop at Inveraray Woollen Mill. Afternoon: On arrival in Oban, free time to explore the town centre. Evening: Enjoy an informal performance by Craig Giles. Overnight: Premier Inn Oban. (B)
DAY 15 Monday July 29, 2024 Ullapool
Travel north, via Fort William, to the pretty west coast fishing village of Ullapool. On the way, see Eilean Donan Castle, Scotland’s most photographed castle. Afternoon tea at Ledgowan Lodge, a luxurious hotel in Scotland’s remote, but beautiful north-west region. Evening: Dinner and local music performance at The Ceilidh Place, one of the best live music venues in the west of Scotland. Overnight: Royal Hotel, Ullapool. (B,AfternoonTea,D)
DAY 16 Tuesday July 30, 2024 Orkney Islands
Travel along the spectacular north-west coast of Scotland. Travel by ferry to the Orkney Islands. Orkney is famous for its prehistoric sites and beautiful scenery. Afternoon: Visit Skara Brae (remains of 4,500 year old village), and the Ring of Brodgar standing stones. Then proceed to Kirkwall, the largest town in the Orkneys. Evening: Have our own informal music ‘session’. Please bring your instruments & voices and join Craig Giles & John Howie for this fun-filled singalong type session! Overnight: Accommodation to be confirmed. (B,MorningTea)
DAY 17 Wednesday July 31, 2024 Orkney Islands
Morning: Travel across the Churchill Barriers causeway to the island of South Ronaldsay. Visit the fascinating Italian Chapel (Built by Italian POWs in 1943), and Scapa Flow (important wartime anchorage for British fleets). Return to Kirkwall, where we visit spectacular St Magnus Cathedral and The Orkney Museum. Afternoon: Free time in Kirkwall, or you may like to visit Maeshowe (5,000 year old chambered tomb) (optional: see further details, back of brochure). Evening: Attend Orkney Accordion and Fiddle Club concert. Hear some lovely Jimmy Shand type music. (B)
DAY 18 Thursday August 1, 2024 Inverness
Morning: Return to Scottish mainland by ferry. Afternoon: Travel south, by coach, to Inverness. Evening: Enjoy a group dinner. Overnight: Accommodation to be confirmed. (B,D)
DAY 19 Friday August 2, 2024 Inverness
Morning: Visit Loch Ness and spectacular Urquhart Castle. Then visit charming Fort Augustus (southern end of Loch Ness). Afternoon: Return to Inverness. Free time for lunch & shopping. You may like to visit The Victorian Market, a beautiful & historic indoor market (1890). Late afternoon: Visit Culloden Battlefield, where Prince Charlie’s forces were defeated in 1746. Evening: Enjoy a performance by one of John Howie’s favourite Scottish ballad groups, On the Wagon. (B)
DAY 20 Saturday August 3, 2024 Edinburgh
Travel to Edinburgh. On the way, visit St Andrews, famous for its golf courses & its university. Visit the ruins of St Andrews Cathedral. See the famous St Andrews Old Course and the beach where some scenes from the movie Chariots of Fire were filmed. Afternoon tea at a clubhouse overlooking one of St Andrews’ famous golf courses. Evening: Attend an Edinburgh Fringe Festival concert (optional). Overnight: Accommodation to be confirmed. (B,AfternoonTea)
DAY 21 Sunday August 4, 2024 Edinburgh
Morning: Coach tour of Edinburgh with local guide, including: historic Old Town area; New Town area (Georgian architecture); drive through Holyrood Park (Arthur’s Seat area) if possible. Also, visit port of Leith. Tour concludes with a walk down the 'Royal Mile’. Sense Edinburgh’s medieval past as you explore the alleys & closes that run off the Royal Mile. See the festival’s colourful street performers in action. Afternoon: Free time for you to explore Edinburgh and attend Fringe Festival concerts. Evening: Enjoy a traditional Scottish dinner at one of Edinburgh’s best restaurants. (B,D)
DAY 22 Monday August 5, 2024 Edinburgh
Morning: Visit historic Edinburgh Castle. Afternoon: Free time for you to further explore Edinburgh & enjoy the outstanding Fringe Festival. Evening: Attend the world-famous Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo – a unique blend of music, ceremony, entertainment and theatre. (B)
DAY 23 Tuesday August 6, 2024 Departure
Morning: Travel by coach to Glasgow, where we commence our flights back to Australia, mid-afternoon. On the way to Glasgow, see the Falkirk Wheel, an impressive rotating boat lift (constructed in 2002).
DAY 24 Wednesday August 7, 2024 In flight
In flight. Short stopover in Dubai.
DAY 25 Thursday August 8, 2024 Arrival
Arrive back in Australia and the tour concludes.
|TWIN FARE PER PERSON||SINGLE FARE|
Twin-share per person: $ 2,695; Single fare $ 3,145
Maeshowe is a 5,000 year old burial mound, with an underground chamber (room) in the centre of the mound. To get inside the mound you have to bend down (to half your size) and shuffle along a low, narrow corridor (about 5 or 6 metres long). Once inside the chamber (room) you can stand up. You go in with a guide, and only about 18 people at a time can go in. It’s a bit like going inside one of the pyramids, in Egypt. It costs about £8.50 per person to go on this guided tour. They can only take a limited number of people each day, so it’s quite difficult to get booked in. We have to book people in, a fair bit in advance. So, if you book on our tour, and would like to do the optional visit to Maeshowe burial mound, please let John Howie know at least 2 months in advance, and he will try to get you booked in.
It is difficult to get tickets for Andre Rieu’s annual concerts in the Vrijthof Square, Maastricht. John Howie will endeavour to purchase suitable tickets, on behalf of Extension Tour group members wishing to attend this concert. He will endeavour to get ‘Rank 3’ tickets (Sections B1 & B2... LH & RH sides of the middle section). Our tour groups have been happy with these tickets, in the past. In 2023 these tickets were €95 (plus a bit more for incidental expenses such as credit card charges).
It is important that all tour participants have a basic level of physical fitness that allows them to take part in this activity without the need of assistance from others.
Travelrite International Pty Ltd. ABN 64 005 817 078 (Travelrite International) is the tour operator
The tour costs are based on transport, accommodation costs and entrance costs at 19 June 2023. Travelrite reserves the right to alter the costs if any of these factors change, giving any passenger that has booked the right to withdraw with full refund of monies paid or modify arrangements. No alterations to costings will be made within 60 days prior to departure.
Deposit and Payment
A deposit of $900 per passenger is required at the time of booking. Full payment will be required 60 days prior to departure. A 1.5% administration fee will be charged on payment by Visa, Mastercard and Amex Cards.
Cancellations within 60 days of departure will result in the loss of all monies paid. Cancellation outside 60 days from departure will result in a cancellation fee of $900 per person. Travel insurance is recommended to cover the costs of cancellation fees due to illness, death in family, etc.
Minimum Tour Numbers
The tour has been costed on the basis of a minimum number of passengers having booked 60 days prior to departure. Travelrite reserves the right to cancel the tour, giving a full refund of all monies paid or offer arrangements to proceed with the tour at a modified cost if the minimum number is not achieved.
The tour is based on arrangements which do not allow for any refunds in respect to sightseeing, accommodation, meals or other services not utilised after the tour has commenced.
Children under 5 years of age are ineligible on coach & cruise tours. Children under 18 years of age must be accompanied by an adult. Passengers with disabilities are welcome on Travelrite & Cruise Offers tours provided they are accompanied by a companion capable of providing all necessary assistance, and do not require special assistance from Travelrite & Cruise Offers personnel. Travelrite and Cruise Offers reserves the right to refuse to carry anyone if it is felt the individual cannot cope with the requirements of coach & cruise tour travel and who may require services and facilities that Travelrite & Cruise Offers cannot guarantee will be available. You agree to not hold the Travelrite & Cruise Offers responsible for any decision made by any of them or any service provider to refuse to carry you, provide any facilities or accommodation to you or to provide any service to you.
Travelrite International Pty Ltd. is the tour organiser. Travelrite International acts only as agents in making of arrangements with carriers, hoteliers and others for the tour. As a result we cannot accept liability for any act or omission whatsoever, whether negligent or otherwise of those carriers, hoteliers or other persons providing services in connection with the tour over whom we have no direct or exclusive control. We do not accept responsibility for any injury, damage, loss, delay, change of schedule or any other events which are beyond our direct control, such as, but not limited to, war, flood, fire, civil disturbance, acts of God, acts of government, or any other authorities, terrorism, accidents to or failure of machinery or equipment, or industrial action. The passage contract in use by the carriers concerned, when issued, shall constitute the sole contract between the transportation companies or firms and the purchasers of these tours and the passengers. Baggage is at own risk throughout the tour. This contract shall be construed in accordance of the laws of the State of Victoria, Australia and any legal action must be taken in the State of Victoria.
Delays and Unforeseen Events
You engage Travelrite International to book this tour on your behalf and you acknowledge that Travelrite International acts as your agent for the purpose of making contracts between you and the various providers of accommodation, transportation and other services that comprise the tour. Travelrite may without reference to you provide or make available to you, or may as your agent engage any third party to provide or make available to you, any good or service which Travelrite reasonably believes is necessary for your benefit to maintain the tour itinerary, repatriate you or otherwise accommodate, transport or sustain you in circumstances in which the tour itinerary fails wholly or partly for any reason. You appoint Travelrite International your attorney for this purpose. You agree to pay Travelrite any cost thereof and you indemnify Travelrite in respect of any cost it incurs in this regard. Travelrite advises you to obtain travel insurance generally including in respect of the risk that any such good or service may become required.
How to Book:
Bookings can be made by completing a booking form and sending it with a deposit of $900 per person to:
Travelrite International Pty. Ltd.
423 Whitehorse Road Balwyn, Victoria 3135
Further information can be obtained by telephoning
Toll Free 1800 630 343
Phone: (03) 9836 2522
ABOUT TRAVELRITE INTERNATIONAL:
Travelrite International Pty Ltd (ABN 64 005 817 078) is a well-established family-owned business that’s been operating in Melbourne’s eastern suburbs for more than 40 years. Travelrite International is a full member of the Australian Federation of Travel Agents (AFTA), is fully Accredited with ATAS (A10538) and IATA. As such they directly represent the major airlines of the world and all major domestic and international hotel, tour and transport operators.
DAY 1 Thursday July 11, 2024 Depart
Depart Australia on flight to Brussels, Belgium.
DAY 2 Friday July 12, 2024 Maastricht
Mid Afternoon: Arrive in Brussels, capital of Belgium. Enjoy an orientation tour of the city and then travel through scenic Belgium, as we make our way to Maastricht, one of the most beautiful and romantic cities in the southern Netherlands. We will be staying in Maasmechelen, a lovely town in Belgium, about 23 kms from Maastricht. Overnight: Hotel Porta Cité, Maasmechelen.
DAY 3 Saturday July 13, 2024 Maastricht
Morning: Sightseeing coach tour of Maastricht and surrounding region, with local guide. Afternoon: Free time for you to explore Maastricht at your leisure. Evening: We are hoping you can attend a fabulous concert by Andre Rieu and his Johann Strauss Orchestra, in Maastricht. This concert (to be confirmed) will be optional. For this series of summer concerts, Andre transforms the Vrijthof Square, in his hometown, into a grand, romantic, open-air concert hall. See back page of brochure, for further information. (B)
DAY 4 Sunday July 14, 2024 Amsterdam
Morning: Travel by coach to Amsterdam, one of the most beautiful cities in Europe. It’s a city of canals, bridges, bicycles (there are millions of them!) and distinctive canal houses, with their stately facades and striking gables. On arrival, enjoy a sightseeing coach tour, with local guide. Late afternoon/evening: Travel to the beautiful village of Hoorn (approx. 50 kms north of Amsterdam), where we visit Café ‘t Schippershuis, where Dutch musician Pierre Partner wrote the famous song The Red Rose Café in 1974. Have dinner and enjoy a fun-filled folk music session, with local musicians, in Hoorn, before returning to Amsterdam. Overnight: WestCord Art Hotel, Amsterdam. (B,D)
DAY 5 Monday July 15, 2024 Amsterdam
Morning: Free time. You may like to visit the Anne Frank House, the Rijksmuseum, or the Van Gogh Museum (all optional). Afternoon: Coach tour to the Volendam region (approx. 20 kms north of Amsterdam). In Volendam get a glimpse of traditional Dutch dress, windmills, cheese, etc. Early Evening: Back in Amsterdam, enjoy a 1 hour canal cruise. After the cruise, John Howie will take those interested on a walking tour of Amsterdam’s famous Red Light District. (B,DrinksOnCanalCruise)
DAY 6 Tuesday July 16, 2024 Depart
Fly to Dublin to meet up with those who have just flown in from Australia. Commence main tour. (B)
“One of the best tours we have ever done. Great program and lovely people.”
“Well organised tour that ran smoothly. Very impressed with Wayne Horsburgh, intelligent, talented and caring.”